Doubts can be a beautiful thing that causes us to question, which leads to finding answers, accepting the answers we find, and ultimately allowing the initial doubt to grow our faith. The problem arises when our doubts lead to stubbornness and that stubbornness becoming a lifestyle that hurts our faith.
Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29 ESV
I’ve heard of many people that have a negative context when it comes to “Thomas The Doubter” who doubted that Jesus truly rose from the dead. For me, it is a comfort to know that even someone who walked with Jesus had doubts as well and that Jesus will always show up to prove the doubts wrong.
Many have called this statement Jesus’ last “Beatitude” that would add to His original statements found in the gospels. When we read what Jesus’ responds, we can rest assured that our faith in Jesus is blessed because we do not have first-hand accounts of Jesus. For some, myself included, we have prayed a similar prayer to “see” Jesus in some way for our faith to grow stronger through a sign or miracle. Although this is not bad, we have all the proof we need in the Bible and the testimony of believers to assure our faith.
The even greater news is that we can see the heart of Jesus and our Father through this encounter with Thomas and it reminds me of the beauty behind God’s love & patience with Gideon. It can be seen as a beautiful thing, to be honest with yourself to the point of wanting that reassurance that God is with you instead of blindly trying to live a life that you don’t truly believe in. Thomas and Gideon both had incredible honesty with themselves and those around them to be able to truly press into the reality of God and want a sign from Him.
I believe it is more God-honoring to truly insist and press into the presence for reassurance of what you believe then it is to blindly repeat things that you don’t truly believe, repeat prayers your grandma or church taught you, read the Bible without the realization that it is from Holy Spirit working through believers and that it can radically transform your life.
If you are in an honest place of disbelief, do not be discouraged. Jesus can and will show Himself to you when you honestly seek His heart and face. He wants us to have a very real and alive relationship with Him. This scripture always comes to mind when I think into the importance of KNOWING Jesus instead of doing “works” for Jesus.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” Matthew 7:21-23